How does media coverage help social entrepreneurs?

February 8, 2009 at 3:05 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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For my thesis I am designing a media strategy for Sustainable Health Enterprises, launched by social entrepreneur and Echoing Green fellow Elizabeth Scharpf. SHE is launching a low-cost, locally produced maxi pad to keep girls in school when they are menstruating, an age-old problem in many poor countries.  I am having a great time looking into the question : what does press coverage do for social entrepreneurs?  To answer this I am standing in the overlap of public relations, philanthropy, and social entrepreneurship — what an interesting little triangle.

To to find out exactly what happens after major media exposure, I had  an interesting chat today with Jennifer Corriero, executive director and founder of TakingITglobal, my favorite youth-led technology organization.  Like many non profits, TIG never directly sought media exposure.  But in the early days of TIG, press coverage, like this article from FastCompany about her and Mike, launched the organization skyward.

She confirmed some theories that I will explore further in my research:

  • After the articles came out the response was always immediate.  The main benefit was that high caliber people reached out to TIG and offered partnership and support that helped for years to come.
  • Media coverage adds legitmacy, especially for start-ups; articles can be passed to potential funders and new contacts.
  • Keep in touch with journalists, find the ones that have a genuine interest in your project and keep them updated.
  • Awards matter, they drive press coverage.
  • Media can be a great way to strengthen relationships with funders by mentioning them in the story.

You can be a part of this thesis process: tell me your stories, how have you leveraged the media to achieve your goals?  If you know someone I should talk to, send me a shout.

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Alltop forgot two-thirds world

March 12, 2008 at 3:54 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Oh my god they have created a non profit dashboard web-agregator for you. http://nonprofit.alltop.com/
I no longer have to continue on my quest to understand bloglines or DIGG and de.li.cious. Alltop is a one-stop shop for websites and RSS feeds on entrepreneurship, philanthropy, academia, bloggers and non profit everything. Except for everything listed is majorly US-centric!

What drives me crazy about US philanthropy is that most of the money stays within the US. The majority of giving may currently come from the US, but other regions are catching up, with exciting initiatives like the African Women Development Fund. We need to be in conversation  and support regional funding mechanisms that may be more sustainable and culturally relevant. The future of philanthropy is not only within our borders. So the work of this small blog is not done.

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